Local television news remains the most trusted news source for people in communities throughout the United States. Local television newsrooms produce the majority of the original reporting being done in most communities. News Producers may be the most vital core component to creating any local television newscast.
These Producers help shape the editorial direction of any day by taking part in the story selection process. They write, coordinate, plan, and execute each newscast in a highly collaborative environment. The Producer weaves each story together to create a full, vibrant picture of that day to inform the community. Quite simply, without Producers there is no way to execute local television news.
Newsroom leaders throughout the country also share one common frustration: the difficulty attracting, training, and keeping our next generation of Newscast Producers. Many journalism school students become enamored with on-air exposure, unaware of the significant role of a Newscast Producer. The growth of online news platforms has also pulled potential Producers in other directions.
Newscast producing serves as a direct pipeline to newsroom leadership. The majority of newsroom managers, including news directors, have a background in producing. Attracting more diverse candidates into the producing profession is critical to guaranteeing a wide variety of voices in newscasts now and in the future and must be a priority.
Many stations have taken on the burden of training Producers on their own due to the difficulty of getting qualified candidates. The fundamentals of the producing craft can be taught and learned in one year. Once a person is in a producing position, they will enjoy tremendous upward mobility. That could take the form of moving into larger markets or simply advancing to positions of greater authority in their newsroom. The pathway for producers to move into major markets is much more direct than it is for on-air talent.
Producing is a wonderful way for diverse candidates to work their way into newsrooms where multiculturalism is needed now more than ever. Today’s audiences want news and content that more accurately reflect their communities. News Producers are the individuals who can truly impact that outcome through their own cultural identity and background. It is of the utmost importance to train today’s students to become tomorrow’s television news producers.
Ivy Tech Community College will become the first known college in the country to create a one-year certificate program (two semesters; 22 credit hours) in partnership with the DuJuan and Tina McCoy Foundation, Circle City Broadcasting, and JPMorgan Chase Foundation called the Multicultural Media Producing Program (MMPP).
Curriculum will be customized and align with the Professional and Community Communication certificate. Students will be part of a program cohort and provided not only academic curriculum, but wraparound support and hands-on experiences in partnership with Circle City Broadcasting.
MMPP will be open to all students of all backgrounds but will have an added emphasis on ensuring multicultural and underserved individuals have access to the program.
Ivy Tech will work in conjunction with the Circle City Broadcasting news leadership team to create a curriculum that satisfies Ivy Tech degree standards and delivers highly trained producers to enter the news producing workforce in America.
First inaugural class began Spring 2023.
The Circle City Broadcasting news leadership team will become adjunct professors to the program as well as offer regular practical application to the program via its news producing TV stations located in Indianapolis Indiana, WISH-TV and WNDY-TV.
MMPP will primarily focus on newscast producing but offer additional guidance and instruction in producing specials and TV show production.
The DuJuan and Tina McCoy Foundation is dedicated to funding programs that advance the education, promote equality of life and advance careers of multicultural and diverse individuals and communities.
DTMF will provide annual scholarships to selected individuals of MMPP based on need and a one-page essay on why they would like to enter the program.
We believe this program can grow to be one of the most effective means to introduce more diverse individuals into the leadership ranks in newsrooms across America while impacting communities by offering varied perspectives on how news is delivered and presented and produced. We believe that this program can become a model for other colleges and broadcasting companies in America.